Hollywood stars reacted with outrage on Thursday because it was revealed Brittney Griner has been sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail for bringing a marijuana pen into the nation in February.
Justin Bieber, Mia Farrow, and Andy Cohen have been among the many celebrities expressing their displeasure in varied social media posts made shortly after information of the sentencing broke.
‘THIS HURTS,’ Bieber, 28, posted an his Instagram Stories. ‘If anybody is aware of of anyway I may also help please let me know.’
Farrow, 77, known as the decision ‘heartbreaking’ as she tweeted: ‘The Russian decide ignored every little thing Britney Griner had acknowledged. He sentenced her to 9 years in a “penal colony”. For carrying 2 vaping cartridges – medically prescribed. Damn. Heartbreaking.’
‘This hurts’: Hollywood stars reacted with outrage on Thursday because it was revealed Brittney Griner has been sentenced to 9 years in Russian jail for bringing a marijuana pen into the nation in February
Meanwhile, Cohen tweeted in all caps, ‘BRING BRITTNEY HOME.’ He added an American flag and prayer arms emoji.
Monty Python actor Eric Idle tweeted: ‘Brittney Griner: Basketball star jailed for 9 years on drug fees.
‘So for invading a neighbor nation that may be about 90,000 years for Putin on the identical scale.’
Author Greg Olear tweeted: ‘Brittney Griner is a hostage. This is kidnapping, sanctioned by Putin’s authorities.’
Not everybody shared the identical views, nevertheless, with comic Tim Young writing: ‘Brittney Griner is just not a political prisoner… she carried medication that have been unlawful along with her in Russia and was arrested – there’s nothing “political”about that.’
Griner, an WNBA star, was discovered responsible of drug smuggling on Thursday by a decide who rejected her declare she by accident introduced the medication in. Prosecutors had requested that she be jailed for nine-and-a-half years, six months lower than the utmost of 10 years in jail.
Standing up for Brittney: Bieber and Mia Farrow have been among the many celebs standing up for the athlete
Disbelief: Mia Farrow known as the decision ‘heartbreaking’
President Biden instantly denounced the sentence and claimed she was ‘wrongfully detained’ – regardless of her pleading responsible. She mentioned it was an ‘sincere mistake’ and that the medication will need to have ended up in her bag ‘by chance’.
In a press release instantly after the sentencing, Biden mentioned: ‘Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she could be along with her spouse, family members, associates, and teammates.’
He mentioned he would proceed to work ‘tirelessly’ to pursue ‘each doable avenue’ to deliver her and Paul Whelan – one other American imprisoned in Russia – residence.
Griner, 31, was arrested on the airport in Moscow in February and has been incarcerated ever since, regardless of failed makes an attempt from the White House to barter her launch.
Griner, an WNBA star, was discovered responsible of drug smuggling on Thursday by a decide who rejected her declare she by accident introduced the medication in
Monty Python actor Eric Idle was amongst these expressing their displeasure on the verdict
Author Greg Olear tweeted: ‘Brittney Griner is a hostage. This is kidnapping, sanctioned by Putin’s authorities’
On Thursday, she sat within the defendant’s cage contained in the courtroom all through the proceedings, counting on an interpreter to whisper to her every little thing the decide mentioned.
Before the sentence was handed down, she begged for leniency and requested the court docket to take into accounts her good character.
A decide accepted her plea – discovering her responsible on drug possession and smuggling. They dominated that she dedicated the crimes purposefully – which she has denied.
She mentioned she didn’t need to be thought of a political pawn, and that bringing the hashish pen into the nation was a easy, ‘sincere mistake’.
‘Russia grew to become my second residence. I keep in mind vividly popping out of the health club and all of the little women popping out and ready on me. That’s what saved making me come again right here.
‘I need to apologize to my teammates, my membership and the town for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced.
Speaking up: Andy Cohen tweeted in all caps, ‘BRING BRITTNEY HOME’
Not everybody shared the identical views, nevertheless, with comic Tim Young writing: ‘Brittney Griner is just not a political prisoner… she carried medication that have been unlawful along with her in Russia and was arrested – there’s nothing “political”about that’
‘I need to additionally apologize to my mother and father, my siblings, Phoenix Mercury, the superb girls of the WNBA and my superb partner again at residence.
‘I by no means meant to harm anyone, I by no means meant to place in jeopardy the Russian inhabitants, I by no means meant to interrupt any legal guidelines.
‘I made an sincere mistake and I hope that your ruling would not finish my life. I do know all people retains speaking about political pawn and politics…however I hope that it’s miles from this courtroom.
‘I had no intent on breaking Russian legislation. I didn’t conspire or plan to commit this crime.
‘I hope you may keep in mind all of the paperwork, the character lists which were despatched in on my behalf.
Griner was held in a cell whereas her authorized group sat at a desk surrounding her. She needed to depend on an interpreter to relay what the decide mentioned
Griner holds up a group photograph exhibiting her enjoying with UMMC Ekaterinburg, the Russian group she spent off-seasons with to bolster her WNBA earnings
‘This is my second residence. All I needed to do was win championships and make them proud,’ she mentioned. The State Department had been in talks to safe Griner’s launch as a part of a deal that may additionally deliver imprisoned American Paul Whelan residence.
The deal has been on the desk for weeks, however Russia is but to agree.
US officers is not going to affirm stories that it consists of liberating Viktor Boult, a Russian legal often known as the ‘service provider of demise’.
During closing arguments on Thursday, her attorneys pleaded for leniency.
‘In sprinting there’s Usain Bolt, in Formula 1 Michael Schumacher, and in girls’s basketball there’s Brittney Griner,’ her lawyer Maria Blagovolina mentioned.
Griner was led into the courtroom in handcuffs. She has been incarcerated since February
Griner shaking arms along with her lawyer Alexander Boykov, proper. Deputy Chief of Mission on the US Embassy in Moscow, Elizabeth Rood, is proven, left
Blagovolina, a companion at Rybalkin Gortsunyan Dyakin and Partners legislation agency, mentioned that ought to the court docket deems it essential to punish her, Griner needs to be be handled leniently.
Griner’s household say they’ve been annoyed with the White House response to the state of affairs.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre instructed reporters Monday that Russia has made a ‘dangerous religion’ response to the US authorities’s supply, a counteroffer that American officers do not regard as critical.
She declined to elaborate.
Griner has acknowledged there have been vape canisters containing hashish oil in her baggage when she was arrested at a Moscow airport.
But she insisted that she had no legal intent and that the canisters ended up in her baggage as a result of she was packing rapidly.
‘I nonetheless do not perceive how they ended up in my bag,’ she mentioned.
Griner had been prescribed medical marijuana within the United States to alleviate ache from power accidents, a therapy methodology that’s widespread amongst elite athletes as a result of it has fewer negative effects than some painkillers.
She performed for a Russian girls’s basketball group within the WNBA low season.
As a part of the deal, the White House proposed swapping Whelan and Griner, however not Mark Fogel – a instructor who was incarcerated in Russia in 2021 on suspicion of drug smuggling.
His household have begged the Biden administration for assist. Many have known as for Griner’s launch on the idea that marijuana is authorized within the US.